Making Solar Window Screens the DIY Way 

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Last updated: April 19, 2023

When the sun’s rays shine brightly, it carries the sun’s heat with them. For windows, heat transfer through the glass causes heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. If you prefer natural light with heat control, try solar window screens.

Buying solar screens specified in window measurements and dimensions is costly. An affordable alternative is using DIY solar window screens. You can make some from scratch or use solar screen kits from solar screen companies like Home Depot.

Because the window shades fit inside or outside of your windows, it does not disrupt decor on blind or curtain window treatments. Sun screens work with small and large windows in the house, including the living room. It may work on windows with an air conditioner if you fit the screen around the unoccupied areas. 

Learn the steps to make homemade window screens and about the DIY kits. Also, learn the benefits of covering the glass of your windows with screens. There is a screen to suit every type of window.

Table of Contents

Homemade Solar Screen Installation

Because the screens are after-market additions, you have flexibility in color, installation, and solar screen material. The finished frame goes onto the window via screws, clips, or a support bar. Mounting is frequently on the outside, but interior installations are acceptable to protect the screens from harsh elements.

Should you like the appearance, door screens mimic screened windows. The difference is screen doors focus more on privacy than blocking heat. Use a pet screen for the doggy door at the bottom of the door entrance.

Wood Frame

It begins by buying a wood frame fitting your window frame. Have the measurements and dimensions handy when purchasing. If you make it from scratch, cut and piece together the wood to the window size with wood glue. 

Also, buy window screen mesh at the store or website. Be sure to buy more than needed because you can use any leftovers for the door. You will also need staples, a staple gun, and a cutting utensil.

  1. Use the cutting utensil to cut the window screen, which should be larger than the wood frame.
  2. Take the solar screen fabric and place it on the wood frame.
  3. Pull the fabric tightly and staple the screen onto the frame for the most secure fit.
  4. Cover the frame and ratted screen edges with wood trim molding.
DIY Do it yourself Window Solar Screen

Aluminum Frame

Have a rubber cord, or spline, close by as well as turn clips, an aluminum frame, and a spline roller tool. Making an aluminum frame without a kit is tough, so buy it and the other items before following the steps below.

  1. Lay the aluminum frame groove side up on a smooth surface.
  2. Cut a generous amount of fabric and lay it on top of the frame. Lay the spline on top of it.
  3. Tighten the fabric and use the roller to push it and the spline on top inside the grooves.
  4. Grab a cutting utensil and cut the fabric sticking out of the frame. The roller shades are complete.
  5. Use the turn clips to install the frame on the window.

Solar Window Screen Kits

DIY window screen kits include everything you need to get started, including the instructions. However, it lacks assembly tools, such as a cutting utensil. Still, they reduce the search to find and pay for each piece. 

While each kit varies, window kits come with a screen frame, screen cloth/fabric, screen corners, spline, and mounting hardware like leaf springs and screws. Some come with a spline roller and a support/crossbar for large solar screen windows. This kit is the right solution for the first time or experienced DIYers.

With a tightly woven openness factor, the screen fabric comes in a wide variety of colors. The kit contains high-quality materials such as PVC-coated polyester, fiberglass, and aluminum. Users can customize the frame color, screen color, crossbar, screen types, and hardware options depending on the store or website. 

If you are having trouble, deciding what screen color to select, think about the function rather than the color. Darker colors allow you to see the beautiful view outdoors. A lighter color brings privacy to a room because it is thicker.

Like the homemade DIY screens, the kits block over 3/4 of the sun’s heat and the harmful UV rays that come with it. They hold up to solar heat gain coefficients because it controls how much sunlight leaves or enters the entire window. While it works best during the hottest months of the year, it is equally beneficial in the cooler months.

5 Benefits of Traditional Window Screens

Your own solar screen windows are just as efficient at blocking the sun’s rays as the new screens manufactured in stores and online. The benefits of adding a screen window pane to an old or new window are abundant with or without window coverings.

The top benefit is energy efficiency. Interior and exterior solar shades are heat insulators, making the interior of your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The summer cooling costs and winter energy costs decrease because energy consumption decreases.

Besides savings on energy bills, homemade shades are inexpensive. Experts charge by the square foot or square inch when you can buy a kit for one low price. Your own screens do the job without spending a lot.

Open windows, retractable screens, and windows with iron gates need a barrier to separate the inside from the outside. A screen keeps dirt, dust, pollen, small animals, birds, insects, and rodents from entering the house. You can enjoy the light and cool air without fighting the critters.

Direct sunlight carries UV light, and with that comes UV damage. Too much light from the sun’s UV rays fades, discolors, and damages furniture and flooring. A screen brings less heat and UV sunlight into the room, protecting the furniture and flooring inside.

A screen is a great way to increase privacy in your home, even if that wasn’t the intended purpose. The dark or light color distorts the view from people peeking outdoors. At night, opening windows is ineffective; the screen is daytime privacy only, so you will need opaque window film to help with nighttime onlookers.

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